How to Choose a VoIP Phone System for Small Business: Features to Look out For
By the end of 2025, the UK is to switch off all functionality for analog phone lines. While it means the effective shutdown of landline phones for the entire country, it has particular repercussions for businesses.
There are many companies in the world who have been sticking to landlines for years – despite the costs and inconveniences. They had a way to make calls, and any changes to that seemed risky.
Now, when the revolution in telephony systems is inevitable, a hunt for alternatives begins. And, for many reasons, VoIP is one of the best phone systems for businesses of all sizes.
What is a small business VoIP system?
In short, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system is a technology that makes it possible to make phone calls over the internet. Since it uses an existing connection instead of a complicated set of cables and devices, the entire system can be set up in a matter of minutes. And for a fraction of traditional phone lines costs.
For small businesses that regularly work on a tight budget, switching to a low-cost but powerful VoIP service might be just the thing they need. That way, they can improve their productivity and cut down on their phone bills.
Call costs are also far lower. Based on a survey from Tech.co, small businesses that switch to VoIP can save as much as 40% on local calls and as much as 90% on overseas ones.
With VoIP, small business owners can further take advantage of many advanced features. These include:
- IVR menus,
- Call queues,
- Ring groups,
- Personalized messages on hold,
- Video conferencing,
- And many others.
All of those features are available from the moment you install a VoIP app. With CloudTalk, for example, you have them with no extra costs.
But before we continue with the benefits, let’s first find out what makes VoIP calls different from analog ones.
How do VoIP systems work?
Analog phones rely on electrical pulses that transmit sounds through a copper wire infrastructure. On the other hand, VoIP platforms use an internet connection to make and receive calls.
Whenever you make a call, a VoIP platform converts your voice into digital signals and compresses it into packets of data. Those packets are then sent over the internet to call the recipient’s device. Once they reach their destination, the packages are unpackaged and converted back into sound so the recipient can understand the message.
What many small businesses are worried about, though, is the sound quality.
Thankfully, the times of static-heavy and hard-to-understand sentences when talking through the internet are long gone. As the time it takes a data packet to travel from one point to another happens in milliseconds, there’s virtually no difference between a VoIP call and a regular one.
Here, you can watch our brief video guide on VoIP technology:
What are the advantages of VoIP systems?
Did you know that about 74% of small business employees are using mobile VoIP apps to make their business calls? As internet calling rates are much lower than through a landline or mobile, making regular international or local calls is no longer a problem even for the shoestring budgets of small companies.
VoIP has become popular also thanks to the rise of high-speed internet connections.
Nowadays, the reliability of the internet has improved massively. VoIP now has enough bandwidth to handle online calls seamlessly. From enterprises to local companies and start-ups, businesses have turned to VoIP. Either to cut down on their phone bills or work comfortably from home.
Now, let’s take a look at specific examples of VoIP advantages.
#1 Excellent call quality
VoIP platforms use a combination of wideband codecs that can give you much more natural-sounding calls whilst also reducing all background noise.
Listening to the person on the other side of the call, you might actually feel like your client is in the next building, not on another continent. This is all thanks to the HD audio feature, also offered by Cloudtalk.
#2 Reduced phone costs
Implementing a VoIP solution can lower the costs of setting up a new small business by as much as 90%. There’s a couple of reasons for this.
The first place where companies can save a significant part of their budget is within installation costs. There’s no need to buy several pieces of hardware and ask a technician to set everything up. All that’s needed for VoIP technology to work is a stable internet connection in the building, a headset, and a router that can handle VoIP calls.
VoIP is pretty cost-effective and the savings are especially visible if you are transitioning from a traditional PBX system. Expensive add-ons, costly compatible devices, and massive bills for international calls don’t apply when using VoIP.
You can use any device you wish to make the calls and call from virtually any place in the world.
#3 Improve productivity with caller insight analytics
Analytic and performance tools were usually only available in enterprise-level PBX plans and came with a high price. That basically put those features out of reach for smaller businesses or start-ups.
VoIP platforms, meanwhile, give you access to a whole bundle of analytical tools, available right from the start. Detailed call statistics, agent performance, and customisable real-time dashboards are just a few examples of the various analytical tools you can find contained within a VoIP platform.
With this data, you can find out when exactly your business has “peak hours” and assign more people to work at that time. You can use it to keep an eye on your employees and reward the best-performing ones. The possibilities are almost endless.
#4 Make a big first impression
No matter how big your business is, you can still make a great impression on your customers with how smooth and easy the communication is with you.
Thanks to some VoIP features, such as a real-time customer card, your agents have the possibility of seeing all the client’s data and previous call history before they even answer the call. Knowing who the caller is makes it far easier for reps to provide exceptional customer support.
And how about having your own auto-attendant working 24/7? Tools like ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) can route calls to the most qualified agents. Advanced IVR (Interactive Voice Response) may answer simple questions for your customers.
Simply, thanks to the outlined features, you can make your business look professional and dedicated to your cause.
VoIP systems are transforming small business communication
Due to the benefits of VoIP, it is not surprising that this way of making calls is taking the business world by storm.
Especially in the small business world, thanks to its balance between price and value. It’s as if VoIP platforms were made to level the playing field between local companies and enterprises. The features that used to be available only to enterprise customers with premium PBX systems are now available to small businesses and start-ups as well.
Choose the best VoIP system for your small business
Since we will eventually say goodbye to analog lines for good, it might be a good time to prepare your small business for a migration to a VoIP service. It might feel like a big decision but the benefits of making calls through the internet speak for themselves.
Do you have trouble deciding on the best system for your needs, considering how many platforms and features are out there? Try out CloudTalk today! Give it a try for 14 days completely free to find out why VoIP is the future of your business.